Obstacles in PTA election appear to oppress voices of people like me. Protect JCPS integrity. I have done my part. Will you do yours?
Our city boasts about being a compassionate city. In my humble opinion, that means that we care about all people and when we have policies in place, then careful consideration has been taken to ensure the equitable treatment of all people. On May 7, 2019, I went to the PTA election to place my vote as a paid member. It appeared to me that obstacles had been put in place to oppress the voices of some, especially people like me. For example, I had not received my PTA card; however, my name was on the list as a delegate. So, I was told that I could not vote without my card when I had been assured that my card would be present when I arrived to vote. I was hassled about not having my card and then told that the school where I have membership had not submitted their dues. Finally, after consulting with the PTA lawyer and some other people, whom I did not know, I was finally able to vote. From my understanding, there were white members who came without their membership card or with blank membership cards and they were not hassled at all. They were pleasantly greeted and allowed to vote. This is not compassionate! This is not fairness! It is shameful that I as a Black person still have to fight for my right to vote in 2019!
In addition, the ballot contained names that were highlighted and other names that were not, which is an injustice in and of itself. All names should have been presented in the same font without any names bolded. As a teacher, I am well aware of what bolded text means. We teach our students that bolded text indicates emphasis; therefore, certain names were emphasized while others were de-emphasized. This does not allow all candidates to be treated fairly and equitably.
Next, I saw one of my former church members in the parking lot. She had been ostracized from the building because, supposedly, there was a screenshot taken of her saying that the PTA was corrupt. If she did say this, what happened to freedom of speech! She was not infringing on the rights of others. She was simply exercising her freedom and was told that she could not oversee the vote count on behalf of the candidates running from the floor because she was not “neutral” because of this claim.
My question is where are we really as a school system? And by associating with organizations that are not fair and equitable what are we teaching our children?? JCPS’ ethical policy states that when associates of JCPS are doing things that could embarrass JCPS, then these things should be addressed and it is the responsibility of everyone associated with JCPS to address these things. I have done my part by bringing these things to the table. How will you do your part of protecting the integrity of JCPS.
Anonymous Black Teacher
The views expressed here are those of the author, submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our open letter form. While the full name of the author has been withheld here, they are not anonymous to us. If a school board member would like to follow up on the content of this message, they may contact us via email to request a connection with the author.